The Vancouver Pride Society (VPS) said it is rescinding the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) entry in the 2019 Pride Parade “due to their decision to provide a platform for transphobic hate speech.”
Specifically, the VPS said its decision comes after Jenn Smith delivered a talk at UBC, entitled: “The Erosion of Freedom: How Transgender Politics in School and Society is Undermining Our Freedom and Harming Women & Children.”
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The VPS said the talk – co-sponsored by the Canadian Christian Lobby – “asserts that
transgender women are men and that SOGI 123 curriculum should not be taught in schools.”
VPS added that Smith’s talks across BC “have targeted transgender women whom Smith labels as men,” and that his past talks “have attracted alt-right hate groups, like the Soldiers of Odin and the Proud Boys. While Smith has stated he has not invited these groups, he has declined to denounce them.”
The society said it is aware that its decision to revoke UBC’s ability to participate in the Pride Parade “may negatively impact LGBTQAI2S+ students, employees and faculty.”
To address this, VPS said it is providing space in the parade for LGBTQAI2S+ UBC students, employees and faculty who wish to march. Those interested in marching at the Vancouver Pride Parade can sign-up online.
In the wake of this recent event, VPS said it is of the understanding that UBC plans to send Policy 107: Booking and Rental of UBC Space to the Board of Governors to be reviewed in September.
“We look forward to meeting with representatives from UBC to discuss their revised policy,” said the VPS. “We encourage UBC to apply for reassessment in 2020 once steps have been taken to address the damage done by their previous policy.”